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10/25/12 10/25/12 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] >> from stanford university in palo alto, california, this is "democracy now!" >> a death penalty sentence does cost taxpayers more. they get a legal team for life, which we as taxpayers, paid for. they're housed in special facilities with extra staff. they do not have to pay to the victims restitution fund like other inmates make up the former warden of san quentin state prison comes out in favor of a ballot initiative to abolish the death penalty here in california. we will speak with jeanne woodford. stealing a pair of pants, shoplifting, breaking into a soup kitchen, all crimes that resulted in sentences of 25
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years to life. a november 6, californians will vote on rewriting the state's controversial three strikes law. >> california is the only state of all the states an hour -- 20 other states that have a three strikes law, were taken during a sentence of 25 to live, to be a violent or non violent offense. >> we was it with a retired california judge ladoris cordell and michael romano, director of the three strikes project at stanford law school. then the killing of valeria "munique" tachiquin. why did u.s. border patrol agents killed a u.s. citizen, mother of five here in the nine states several miles north of the mexican border. >> state-sponsored terrorism and what is happening at the u.s.- mexican border. we are not allowed to leave our committees without going to checkpoints.
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i am a u.s. national and a mexican national, and i get stopped every single time i get out of my house, by the border patrol. >> all of that and more coming up. this is "democracy now!,", the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we're on the road at stanford university in palo alto, california. at least one civilian was killed in pakistan on wednesday when u.s. drone struck the tribal area of north missouri stand. to others for also reportedly wounded and possibly killed. the obama administration has secretly developed a new long- term mechanism for monitoring, capturing, and killing suspected terrorists well into the future. according to the washington post, the administration is maintaining what it calls a disposition matrix that would help future administrations continue militaristic policies
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such as the drone warfare and kill lists of president obama's first term. the disposition matrix contains detailed information of terror suspects for use in efforts to target them through extradition requests, capture operations, and drone patrols. as part of the program to launch attacks overseas, the washington post also reveals the u.s. is using its military facility in djibouti as a launching pad for its covert operations across the horn of africa and the middle east. the joint special operations command or jsoc has established a secret center for targeting militants across the potomac river, just 15 minutes from the white house. the report comes just days after it was revealed the cia is seeking a major expansion of its fleet of armed drones to carry out attacks overseas. in a statement, the american civil liberties union national security project said --
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the topic of the obama administration's kill list recently led to some surprising answers from top democrats and obama campaign surrogates. after the second presidential debate earlier this month, luke rudkowski of the media group we are change asked congress member in the wasserman schultz, the chair of the democratic national committee, about obama's while the reported kill list of americans and foreigners who can be assassinated without charge or trial. in response, shultz dismissed the question by claiming that she had even heard of the kill list. >> its president -- and from the
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becomes president, he will inherit obama's secret kill list. how'd you think romney will handle this? are you comfortable with him having a kill list? >> i have no idea what you're talking about. >> obama has a secret kill list. >> i will be happy to answer any serious questions. >> the existence of the u.s. kill list has been publicly known for nearly two years and was the subject of a 6000-word exposé in the new york times earlier this year. at the same event, former white house press secretary and current obama campaign adviser robert gibbs was asked about the was killing of awlaki, the teenage son of anwar al- awlaki's. in response, gibbs blamed the elder awlaki for his son's assassination by u.s. drone. >> do you think the california son iski's 16-year-old justifiable? what i'm not going to get into
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his son. i know anwar awlaki renounced his citizenship. >> his son was still an american citizen. >> he did great harm to this country. he was a regional al qaeda commander hoping to inflict harm and destruction on people that share his religion and others in this country. >> that is an american citizen being targeted without charge or trial. >> i suggest you have a far more responsible father if he were truly concerned about the well- being of their children. i don't think becoming an al qaeda jihadist terrorist is the best way to go about doing your business. >> new polls show a tightening presidential race less than to explore for the november 6 elections with president obama and republican challenger mitt romney virtually tied. speaking to supporters of nevada, romney and obama's campaign said -- said obama's
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campaign is shrinking and slipping. >> the obama campaign is slipping and shrinking. the president cannot seem to find an agenda that will help america's families. we ever growing movement or people realize we will build a brighter future for the american family. more coming together with power and energy. i am counting on you guys here to vote. >> campaigning in iowa, president obama continued to criticize romney for a plan that would cut taxes for the wealthy and radically increase military spending. >> the problem is, you need to invent a new kind of math to make this true. the arithmetic does not worke, so we know governor job -- governor romney's joplin does not create jobs or reduce the deficit. we talked about romnesia, but this all speaks to something that is important, and that is trust.
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there is no more serious issue and a presidential campaign and trust. >> federal prosecutors in new york have filed a $1 billion civil suit accusing the financial giant bank of america of a massive fraud. the justice to parvaz says bank of america execute a scheme that would blindly hand out mortgages without proper checks, and then turn around and sell the toxic loans to the government- controlled fannie mae and freddie mac. while bank of america reaped a windfall, fannie and freddie were stuck with huge losses and foreclosed properties. the program was known as the "hostel," and originated under the firm countrywide financial, which bank of america took over in 2008. it was the sixth time in less than 18 months that u.s. prosecutors in new york have filed suit against a major u.s. financial firm for mortgage practices that helped cause the financial crisis.
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in a statement, attorney bharara said bank of america's "fraudulent conduct was spectacularly brazen in scope." former goldman sachs board member rajat gupta has been sentenced to two years in prison on a conviction of insider trading. the sentence marked a major loss for prosecutors, could been seeking a minimum 10-year term. gupta was convicted of one of the biggest insider-trading cases in history, passing on stock tips that helped to publish helped a billionaire hedge fund manager amass over $75 million in profits. the supreme court has upheld a montana law that limits donations to political campaigns. it was among several that have been down -- struck down in montana marking the citizens united ruling that allowed unlimited outside spending on elections. on tuesday, the supreme court
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refused to overturn a lower court ruling from earlier this month that affirmed montana's right to regulate contributions in state elections. the justice department is suing state and local officials in mississippi for allegedly violating the rights of children -- especially black and disabled -- with routine and unjustified arrests. a federal complaint accuses officers in meridian, mississippi of operating the "school to prison pipeline" in which youth are consistently arrested after being suspended from school for infractions such as dress code violations or talking back to teachers. it's the first on the justice department is used a 1994 federal anti-discrimination law on behalf of youths. sudan has accused israel of bombing a weapons factory and the sudanese capital of khartoum, killing two people and leaving another seriously wounded. sudanese officials said four aircraft were able to ebay radar
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defenses to hit the military facility in the middle of the night, causing a massive fire and damaging several nearby homes. it was the latest in a series of bombings in sudan blamed on israel over the past several years. the israeli military has refused to confirm or deny wednesday's attack. ecuador has as the british government to assure the safe passage of wikileaks founder julian assange should he require medical treatment in hospital. on wednesday, an ecuadorean diplomat said that concerns have been raised about julian assange's health that may require medical attention. assange has taken refuge in the ecuador embassy in london in a bid to avoid extradition to sweden, and ultimately, he says, to the united states. the whistleblowing group has just released a new cache of files, the killing as guidelines for jailing foreign prisoners at military prisons from iraq to guantanamo bay. according to wikileaks, the detainee policies includes one
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manual instructing how to disappear prisoners into other government agencies while hiding their names from u.s. military records. and those are some of the headlines. this is "democracy now!,", the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. at stanford,road university in palo alto, california, part of our 100-city tour. we are broadcasting here from stanford university with the november election less than two weeks away, we begin today's show with a look at a ballot initiative that will let voters decide whether to abolish the death penalty here in california, home to nearly a quarter of the nation's death row population. it's called proposition 34, or the save california initiative, which stands for savings, accountability and full enforcement. under it, prisoners already on death row would be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. as california faces a budget
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crisis, independent analysts estimate that getting rid of the death penalty could save $130 million annually. supporters of the measure note that some of the money would be used to resolve outstanding rape and murder cases. others emphasize the moral dilemma posed by the death penalty -- like in this tv ad narrated by actor martin sheen. >> freedom. it is such an essential part of our lives, it is hard to imagine it being taken away without just cause. but it can be, and it has been. frankie was wrongly convicted of murder. it took 20 years to prove he was innocent. >> with the death penalty, we always risk executing an innocent person. let's replace it with life in prison without the possibility of parole so we do not make a mistake. >> meanwhile, many opponents of prop 34 argue that people who commit murder deserve to be executed. this competing tv ad features
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mary lou kennedy, whose daughter linda ann, was brutally raped, murdered, and dumped in a drainage ditch in 1985. linda's killers remain locked up in san quentin. >> he gets three meals a day, health care, they have television, internet access. why should someone who has committed such a horrific crime be able to live? there is no good reason. i think you have forfeited your right to live. the system can be fixed. it is a political football. i truly believe it can be fixed. i think people are not fully aware of the horrific crimes that those people that are sitting on death row have committed. >> polls show a narrow margin of californians oppose proposition 34, and that is an epic of percentages are still
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undecided. for more we go to san francisco where we're joined by one of the measure's leading supporters, jeanne woodford, the former warden of san quentin state prison, where she oversaw four executions. she says she did her job, but didn't think it was the right thing to do. warden woodford has also served as the undersecretary director of the california department of corrections and rehabilitation. she is from executive director of death penalty focus of california, which educates the public about alternatives to the death penalty. jeanne woodford, welcome to "democracy now!" why don't you lay out exactly what this ballot initiative would do. >> the proposition 34-3 simple things. it takes the existing law and crosses out death penalty, and leaves life without the possibility of parole as the harshest punishment in california. it sets aside $100 million in total to be spent over 3.5 years for the sole purpose of solving
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46% of homicides and 56% of reported rapes that go unsolved each year on average in the state of california. finally, it requires all inmates get life without parole or the restitution to the victims' compensation fund. proposition 34 is to be a public safety measure. it allows california to utilize this very scarce criminal justice dollars on what really works, and solving crime is really what works to prevent further victimization in our state. >> can you talk more about the general fund and the victim compensation fund? >> the victim compensation fund is a fund that is set aside to assist victims all across california. by requiring inmates preserving life without possibility of parole work, that means 55% of their earnings would go into the victims' compensation fund to help victims throughout california. and then in terms of the general
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fund, by replacing the death penalty, the nonpartisan legislative analyst's office here in california has determined the state will save at least $130 million each year by replacing the death penalty with life in prison without possibility of parole. >> can you talk about how this would impact victims' families, jeanne woodford? >> victims' families have all points of view on this issue. we have over 724 victim family members who support that penalty focus and prop 34. many of these individuals initially asked for the death penalty against the person who killed their loved one, but came to realize the death penalty was a burden on them. the years of appeals, the fund california has 727 people on death row and is carried out 13
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executions, the fact that more inmates have died by natural causes, a small number by suicide -- in fact, 84. the fact that almost 100 have had their sentences overturned and ended up with life in prison without the possibility of parole after years of appeals, that is such a burden on these family members. and in other victims, they're part of the 47% of homicides that go unsolved. they do not know who committed that murder, and would like to see our resources spent on solving those crimes instead of spending it on a handful of inmates who were going to die in prison anyway. and that is why this proposition is so important to victim family members. >> let me ask about mary stickle son jason was killed in 1992 by eric houston. houston was sentenced to death in 1993. i want to play excerpts of her comments about prop. 34, from a video produced by opponents of the measure. >> the state trusted these
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jurors enough to be on a jury, to vote within themselves that this guy should be on death row, without a shadow of a doubt. but they're not willing to uphold that? what does that say to anybody? it is ok to kill somebody, but oh, well, we're going to get thrown in general population. >> your response? >> life without the possibility of parole is a very harsh sentence. it holes them more accountable. inmates on death row have a single cell, isolated from the general population. that means staff delivers services to them or the inmate is taken to the services. it takes an incredible amount of staff. in addition, we really do not have a death penalty in this state. in fact, the current california supreme court justice, chief justice, has called the death
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penalty broken and beyond repair as to the former justice. it simply does not work. my heart goes out to these family members who think that when someone is given the death penalty that that is what is going to happen. again, since 1978, we have had 13 executions. this is just an unbelievable process to put family members through. >> interestingly, some california prisoners oppose proposition 34. the campaign to end the death penalty sent a questionnaire into over 200 prisoners in san quentin, seeking their thoughts about this measure known as the safe act. this is part of prisoner darrell lomax's's response saying -- "woodford aspires to sell the california voter a dream of ending the death penalty and saving our cash strapped government money, when
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in fact she really wants to redirect the money saved from denying prisoners the right to appeal their sentence and conviction into law on first and agencies." your response? >> anybody could have convicted the -- anybody convicted of a felony is entitled to to an appeal. i do want to see more police on the streets because we know that is what keeps us safer. i also want to see rape kits being processed so we can solve these crimes. i want to see an improvement and are crime labs. we need to bring justice that works for all those in california, and that is what proposition 34 does. >> ward and woodford, you presided over four executions at san quentin. can you describe them in your feelings today?
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>> i think i can sum it up by saying at the end of every execution, some on my staff will look a man said, is the world safe for tonight because of what we did? we did not answer the question because we knew the answer was no. the death penalty does not deter crime. it is costly. what we have in california is over 900 people sentenced to death with 727 people remaining on death row. it does nothing to improve public safety or improve the lives of californians. as a result of my experience, where i started at san quentin when there were only six inmates on death row, and watching the death row grow to where it is today and how expensive is and how it does nothing to improve the lives of californians, that is why i am a proponent of proposition 34. >> jeanne woodford, you presided
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over the execution of robert massie in 2001 while you were the warden at san quentin. he was first sentenced to death for the 1965 murder of a mother of two in 72 basic -- the supreme court suspended executions months after he was released on parole, he killed again and was returned to death row. you wroten ian l.a. times editorial that "for supporters of the death penalty, massie is a poster child. yet for me, he stands out among the executions i presided over as the strongest example of how empty and futile the act of execution is." can you talk about the night he was executed? >> of the four executions, he was an individual who decided to stop his appeals. so for mr. massie, he decided it was time for him to die. it was really very much like helping someone commit suicide.
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that is why was such a difficult execution for me personally. i was raised a catholic. knowing that on behalf of the citizens of california, what we were doing was helping this person, a suicide, which is a very difficult experience for myself, and i think for others as well. i also want to point out that the reason he was released when the supreme court overturn the death penalty in the state is that we did not have a punishment called life without the possibility of parole. today, we do have that punishment. that means you will not get out of prison. you will die in prison. >> you also joined with a number of prison wardens across the country and calling for a stop to the execution of troy anthony davis, who was executed september 21, 2011, just over a year ago in jackson, georgia, at
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the death row prison there. he maintained his innocence to the end. why did you join in that call? i joined in that call because i really do not know whether troy davis was innocent, and i certainly don't know whether he was guilty, but there was too much doubt. the wardens, including the former commissioner of georgia, signed the letter, asking the state of georgia to stop the execution, noting there were asking civil servants to carry out an execution on a person when there was so much doubt about his guilt or innocence. they would have to live without for the rest of their lives. i think that is far too much to ask of a public servant. and that is why the six of us signed that letter. >> finally, the prison wardens who were supporting crop 34, the proposition to abolish the death penalty in california? >> yes, we have eight wardens to
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of signed a letter in support of proposition 34 and they have been involved in executions across this country. we signed in support of proposition 34 because we know how wasteful the death penalty is, and we know that we have a punishment that works. life in prison without the possibility of parole. and by having that punishment, life in prison without possibility of parole, you are not asking public servants to be involved in an execution and risk executing an innocent person, which we now has happened across this country. >> finally, don heller wrote california's death penalty law in 1978. he now says he made a huge mistake and never anticipated the costs of the death penalty. this is an excerpt of a video produced by supporters of prop 34. >> when i wrote the initiative,
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i was never given any guidance by anyone as to the cost of carrying out the death penalty. something that i actually did not even think about. because my objective was to write a constitutionally valid statutory enactment, and i had no input into the cost of prosecuting capital cases. sometimes it takes 25 years to execute someone in california. it takes six years to get a court appointed lawyer to represent a defendant on death row. >> organ jeanne woodford, your final comment? >> i ask the voters of california to vote yes on proposition 34 because it is a public safety measure. it holds people accountable by making sure that they serve life in prison without the possibility of parole, at the same time a freeze of resources to do those things that actually
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keep us safe. solving the unsolved crime. >> i want to teach you for being with us, jeanne woodford, former ward of san quentin prison where she oversaw four executions. she served as the undersecretary director of the california department of corrections and rehabilitation, is currently executive director of death penalty focus of california, which educates the public about the death penalty and its alternatives. when we return, we'll look at another ballot initiative here in california that would overturn the three strikes law. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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>> this is "democracy now!,", the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman.
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as we continue our 100-city silenced majority tour around the country, we have stopped at stanford university in palo alto, california, where we are broadcasting from today. we continue our conversation on the criminal justice reforms appearing on the november 6 california ballot. proposition 36 would revise law limiting third strike felonies to serious or violent crimes only. under three strikes, a person convicted of a felony in california who has two or more prior convictions for certain offenses must be sentenced to at least 25 years to life in state prison, even of the third offense is nonviolent. the critics have argued it is the harshest sentencing law in the u.s. california is only state where a life sentence, handed down for a nonviolent crime that could qualify as a misdemeanor, such as petty theft or drug possession. opponents of the law often cite the case of norman williams. in 1997, he was sentenced to 25
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years to life under the three strikes law for stealing a car jack from the back of an open tow truck. he had two previous non-violent crimes on his record. williams was released in 2009 with the help of the three strikes project here at stanford law school. to talk more about proposition 36, we're joined by michael romano and a retired superior court judge, judge ladoris cordell. we welcome you both to "democracy now!" i want to go back to prop 34. judge ladoris cordell, your son did in the literature sent out to people here in california but as you are cited in the literature sent out to people here in california. >> i support it for a number of reasons quickly, the death
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penalty system in california is broken beyond repair. attempts have been tried to repair it and it cannot be done. it is poor public policy because it means taxpayer dollars are being wasted on a system that is broken. the concern is the death penalty is finality for those who are executed. if there are people who are innocent -- and we don't know if there are people or innocent on death row -- it is not worth going down that route. a study was released this week showing there is a higher percentage of people who have found to be innocent of crimes sentenced to life in prison, who have been wrongfully convicted. more so in california than any other state. we cannot take a risk. you take a broken system, wasted tax dollars, the fact you do not ever want to execute an innocent people -- and we know innocent people have been on death row across this country, that is
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why. >> people may be surprised to hear you are a judge. did you ever sentence anyone to death? >> i was never signed a death penalty case. i have assigned people to life in prison. i know how the system works. i worked at the helm of the criminal justice system. it is time to put the brakes on the death penalty system and replace it with life without the possibility of parole. proposition 34, when it passes, it will serve to keep people safer in california. the money that has been thrown down the drain on the system will be used to enhance investigations of homicides and rapes, and will serve to make everyone safer. 34let's go from proposition to proposition 36. michael romano, you had the three strikes program here at stanford law school and helped draft this proposition.
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explain who you worked with and how the three strikes law works today. give us some examples of people who have been imprisoned for life. >> the three strikes project at stanford law school began as an organization to represent individuals who have been sentenced to life under california's three strikes law, the harshest sentencing law in the country for extraordinarily minor crimes. we represent someone who is currently sending -- spent a life sentence for shoplifting a $2 pair of socks. >> the person who shoplifted a pair of socks, how many years to they get imprisoned? what a life sentence. he has already served 12 years. >> because it was his third strike? parks he never hurt anybody before in his life. i'm not saying people are innocent and are not repeat offenders, they are. but someone who should get a life sentence for nonviolent
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crimes, i don't think that is what people intend when they pass the three strikes law. it is not fair. in california, rapists, the maximum sentence is eight years. most murders to a 15 the life. we're talking about a life sentence for some who shoplifted a pair of socks or simple drug possession or shoplifting -- it does nothing to keep california say. >> talk about who is forming the coalition now for prop 36. >> it is supported by i think one of the more unusual criminal justice coalitions in the country. we were approached by the district attorney from los angeles county, steve cooley, a republican and tough on crime and one of the leading proponents of the death penalty in california. and the naacp legal defense fund, one of the most progressive supports organizations in the country. between some professors at
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stanford, steve cooley's office in los angeles, and in the naacp legal defense fund, we crafted prop 36. i think it keeps the core of the three strikes law, life sentences for violent crimes -- we're not changing that. but it eliminates life sentences for nine series, nonviolent crimes. >> grover norquist supports it? >> he does. so does george shultz. and other leading republicans throughout california and the country because i think they realize first of all it is a waste of money, proposition 36 will save california over $100 million every year. but even more important, it is just down effective government policy. it is not effective public safety. >> i want to turn to those who
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argue in favor of the three strikes law. this is california state senator tom harman speaking to the new york times magazine. >> these are the type of people that we have to take off the street and say, "your warned once, you're one twice, in what the law was." i don't have a problem putting people like that behind bars for a lengthy period of time. >> judge ladoris cordell, your response to those who are for the current three strikes law? >> i don't think i to put it any better than what mr. ramadi has said. i presided over three strikes' cases when i was on the bench in santa clara county. at sentence people to live without the possibility of parole under the three strikes law. and i will tell you that one of the reasons i left the bench was partly my frustration with the three strikes law. i just found that if i could not help -- i did speak out about
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this on the bench, but i could not change the law while i was there, then i've got to do something once i had been off the bench. -- i vowed to do something once i was off the bench. it is not good public policy. it does nothing to help keep us more safe. >> what is it like to be a judge when you don't have discretion? >> it is hard. the most difficult job that a judge has is sentencing. it is really deciding what to do with this person, and taking into consideration the victims, concern for public safety, and concern about the individual who is committed these crimes. when a loss pass that says, you have to sentence this person away for life, it really is not what judges are doing greet the miners will set up a computer and just put in some numbers and make it happen. samet's turn to a clip from
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banning's's documentary called to tackle an unusual." this is kelly turner, who spent 13 years in prison under the three strikes law. her third strike was forging a check. >> i am not the only one who did 13 years. my sisters did 13 years my nieces and nephews did 13 years. i always wanted to have kids. part of that collateral damage, i won't have kids now. >> judge ladoris cordell, talk about kelly turner. >> i heard about her case and decided i ought to do something. this is after i had retired and left the bench. it was a 2.5-year odyssey. one of the first people to whom i spoke to try to figure out how i could get this woman out who had been serving come at that time, she had been in at least a decade for writing a bad check, i turned to michael romano.
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i talk to him to give some advice about how to go about getting kelly out. after 2.5 years, and worked with a lawyer, roy bartlett, from san francisco, who worked with a pro bono, and kelly was freed september 8, 2009 as a result of habeas petition the filed. she has been free since. she has since gotten married. she has stayed out of trouble. she is now minister society after serving 13 years -- she is not a menace to society. she served 13 years for writing a bad check. >> let's talk about steve cooley for a minute, the person you mentioned, michael romano. he served as l.a. county's district attorney in 2000. he is one of the few republicans to his campaign for reform of the three strikes law. >> i think there were some cases
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where the 25 to life sentence should not have been imposed, particularly on some nonviolent, non-serious felonies. by any measure, 25 years to life was an exceedingly long sentence for the nature of the conduct being punished. the public at large got it. i think the public respect and appreciates and wants to happen in the criminal-justice system. >> steve cooley, michael romano? >> proposition 36 is one of the rare loss that has been tried and laboratories. steve cooley, the district attorney for the largest prosecution office in the country, has voluntarily implemented prop. 36 over the last 10 years. crime and los angeles county is down more than it is throughout
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the state. so the idea that this is some sort of soft on crime measure i think is belied by the experience in los angeles. i do want to say that judge ladoris cordell is being too modest. really, when she stepped down from the bench, she took on herself to really be the clearing call about what is going on with three strikers. they're not high-profile crimes. they are petty thieves and pickpockets and drug users. >> can you talk about dell gains? prexy is one of my clients but he was sentenced to life for possession of stolen property. he is mentally retarded and severely mentally ill. he was homeless and drug addicted part of being sentenced to life in prison. he has never hurt anybody in his life. he was found mentally incompetent to stand trial, but still his public defender wave
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to that issue, went to trial, put on absolutely no evidence in his defense. these are relatively small cases, not being handled by experienced attorneys. it is the most overworked prosecutors and public defenders. >> and shane taylor? >> the judge and shane tellers' cages who sentenced him to life, call me and said, i made a horrible mistake, can you do something to represent this guy was sentenced to life for the 0.1 grams of methamphetamine? >> possession? >> it is a speck, like a tiny figure now. he never hurt anyone before in this light. the judge in this case all think he is serving too much time. courts have refused to do anything about his situation. >> judge ladoris cordell, we were last year at the studios talking about a previous incarnation of reforming three
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strikes bill. what makes this different? >> i was last year in 2004, and that was prop 66, which was yet another attempt -- the first attempt to reform the three strikes law. i will tell you proposition 36 is better thought out, it has really been tested out in l.a. county, and there is growing public support for proposition 36. people get it, that they're not catering to the opposition that is raising fear, raising anchor. that is not the way to drive good public policy. for this reason, this initiative that was co-authored by michael romano is a more thoughtful piece and really gets at the issue and will do the right thing by those who, i think, have been unjustly sentenced to life in prison, and still keep the public safe. >> what would he said the chances are for prop 36 to be passed?
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and also, prop 34, the proposition to overturn the death penalty, and the different coalitions around those? >> and poland, it will be coming out surely on those propositions -- the polling will be coming out shortly on this propositions. proposition 36 is leading in the polls because people really understand and appreciate what this initiative is about. proposition 34, to take the death penalty sentences and make them life into possible without parole -- to life in prison without possibility of parole. people are much more familiar about the death penalty. if you mention the three strikes law, people are not so sure about it or knowledgeable about it. there is more emotion attached is the death penalty. i think when people hear that $100 million will be passed in a fund that will be run by the
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state's highest prosecutor, the attorney general, to find homicide investigations and laboratories so they can speed up the dna, people will understand that will be a lot safer having this proposition passed. >> i want to teach you both for being with us, michael romano director of the three strikes project at stanford law school and co author of proposition 36. and judge ladoris cordell, retired superior court judge who spent 19 years on the bench in santa clara county, former vice provost of stanford university and presently serves as the independent poce auditor for the city of san jose. this is "democracy now!,", the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. when we come back, we go south to the border. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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>> this is "democracy now!,", the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we're on the road in california. in the wake of the dramatic increase in deaths at the hands of u.s. border patrol agents, the department of homeland security has agreed to launch a long-awaited investigation to the agency's use of force. investigation comes after community outcry led to formal requests by members of congress concerned about what they see as a pattern of excessive use of force by border patrol agents. since 2010, at least 18 people have been killed by border agents including most recently, 16-year-old hazare rodriguez who was reportedly shot no fewer than seven times for allegedly throwing rocks at an agent.
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another recent case that has sparked outcry is that of valeria "munique" tachiquin, who was killed by border patrol agent on september 28 in broad daylight in a residential area several miles north of u.s.- mexico border. she was a u.s. citizen, mother of five, the youngest was 4 years old. the man who killed her, agent justin tackett, reportedly had a history of misconduct in his previous career as a california sheriff's deputy, but was nonetheless hired by u.s. customs and borders protection agency. tachiquin family's attorney, gene iredale, has started the process to file a lawsuit against the border patrol. he recently explained why. [no
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♪ [music break] >> we had some technical problems but we lost on their connection with our guest. i think we have them back. i would like to turn to valentin tachiquin, corrections officer, father of valeria "munique" tachiquin, who was killed by border patrol agent on september 28. can you tell us her story?
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>> yes, she was a loving mother, loving wife, just a great person. i just don't know what happened -- my daughter is not here today. my problem. >> what happened? tell us what happened as you understood it, valentin. >> as far as i know, and only to the media, because i have had no official story from neither the to list the police or the border patrol agency, it is just what i heard over the news, that she was killed because an officer
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felt he was in danger. as far as i know, i have not heard nothing official as far as what really happened. >> christian ramírez, your director of southern border communities coalition and human rights director of alliance of san diego. what you understand happened? >> according to the border patrol officials, there was a plant closed operation taking place near or at the location where munique seen driving. an agent was struck by the vehicle that she was driving, according to an officer, and dragged several hundred yards. the agent felt his leg was in jeopardy, and decided to use deadly force to stop this threat. i personally went to the scene hours after it was reported.
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her body was still at the scene. i spoke to a number of witnesses. this happened in a densely populated area in southern san diego. all of the witnesses tell us the agent who was in plain clothes, shot and killed munique when it was standing on the pavement, not on the hood of the vehicle, but on the pavement, and shot her multiple times. what is particularly troubling, it occurred in broad daylight in a densely populated area in southern san diego county. the agent that shot and killed her was in plain clothes. this part -- this sparked outrage and protests in the community because she was the 16th president of the u.s.- mexico border, a u.s. citizen and mother of five, was gunned down by border patrol agent in san diego county. >> this agent, justin tackett,
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had a history of misconduct in his previous career as a sheriff's deputy in california, yet was hired by u.s. customs and borders protection agency? >> that is our understanding. mr. tackett, who allegedly was the man who shot and killed valeria "munique" tachiquin, was employed by the county sheriff's -- as a sheriff's deputy. he was fired from the corporation after several instances of misconduct, violating civil rights. interestingly enough, mr. tackett then went on to work for former congressman hunter. soon thereafter, he was picked up by the customs and border protection. problema very serious -- this points to a very serious problem of not having proper
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screening are holding these agents accountable. his agent, according to the sheriff's department, should not have been anywhere near a badge or done. despite that, he was still hired as a border patrol agent, and even more troubling, apparently in an undercover investigation in plain clothes and this points to the fact that border patrol is out of control. if it is to be regulated and that is why it has been prompted to conduct an investigation critics christian ramírez and valentin tachiquin, thank you for being with us. that does it for our broadcast. as we leave california today and will be in portland, oregon tonight. democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comments to or mail them to democracy now! p.o. box 693 new york, new york 10013. [captioning made possible by democracy now!]
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Democracy Now
WHUT October 25, 2012 6:00pm-7:00pm EDT

Series/Special. Current Events & News in the World

TOPIC FREQUENCY California 50, Michael Romano 8, Jeanne Woodford 7, San Quentin 7, Amy Goodman 5, Steve Cooley 5, New York 5, Romney 4, Los Angeles 4, Stanford 4, Ladoris Cordell 4, Tachiquin 3, Georgia 3, Montana 3, Obama 3, Julian Assange 2, University 2, Obama Administration 2, Justin Tackett 2, Massie 2
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Duration 01:00:00
Scanned in Annapolis, MD, USA
Source Comcast Cable
Tuner Channel 78 (549 MHz)
Video Codec mpeg2video
Audio Cocec ac3
Pixel width 528
Pixel height 480
Sponsor Internet Archive
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on 10/25/2012